ProductWatch: Soma Optima at Multiflex

Suhas Kulkarni of Soma, in conversation with WhatPackaging? Team, tells how Optima is ahead of time than other flexo presses. The press offers enhanced productivity and profitability to printers and converters for short-run jobs

07 Nov 2023 | By WhatPackaging? Team

Soma Optima is an ideal choice for converters who opt for short-run jobs with quick entire changeover of 30-minutes

Explain what it is suitable for?
The Soma Optima at Multiflex is suitable for printing all kinds of films including PE, BOPP, and PET besides paper; be it surface printing or reverse printing.

When was it installed at Multiflex?
It was installed in April 2021.

How easy was the installation at Multiflex?
The mechanical and electrical installation was very easy, however the time constraint and limitation during Covid was a constant issue.

Any customisation?
This machine is suitable for both water-based and solvent-based inks.

How does it serve the company? What are its applications?
Multiflex uses the Soma Optima to print hygiene products (surface printing PE) and various other flexible packaging applications (including laminates for food, confectionary and non-food items like clothing). It uses the machine for both short and long runs jobs / designs.

What about training the operators?
The operators were used to flexographic printing, however they had to learn to upgrade to the newer, more sophisticated and smarter systems offered by Soma Optima.

How does it differ from similar products in the market?
The Soma Optima is a little ahead of its time in terms of the advanced electronics and mechanical systems in place. Therefore, it offers certain advantages to the printer for enhanced productivity and to the converter by increasing profits for short runs.

What is the turnaround time?
Turnaround time – for a full changeover is 30-minutes. This includes surface printing to reverse printing – which involves a change of ink systems, aniloxes and sleeves plus substrate. For a changeover from one job to another job with similar substrate and ink being used, the turnaround time is 10- to 15-minutes.

How does it score on sustainability?
It saves a lot of space, therefore the footprint is smaller compared to any other similar-sized machine. Ergonomically it is well suited to Asian heights of working hence, it saves a lot of time for handling, besides this with enhanced electronics it saves a lot of power and utility consumption, ensuring a lower carbon emission per tonne of material printed. 

How does it contribute to the SME sector of the packaging industry?
The Indian SME sector is picking up the smaller batches of supplies closer to the end customer, translating this into a short run with a quick turnaround time. Furthermore, with a smaller footprint taking up less space, and saving power, it offers benefits to the converter who takes up serving the customers.

Assembly line speed?
Up to 300-m/min. 

How much process control is required?
As in any flexographic print system, it needs control of the various parameters affecting good flexo print. However, the systems once defined and controlled deliver consistent results.

How does it score on the merits like being trouble-free?
Being more electronically advanced, it needs robust systems such as a consistent power supply and utilities based on which it offers easy handling.

Any feedback from Multiflex?
Multiflex has chosen to move all short-run jobs to Soma for obvious reasons.

What kind of maintenance support do you offer?
We have trained service engineers who are available locally. However, the Soma Cloud online support is easily accessible to the customer who, in case of any issue, raises a ticket online.

Are there any demo centres available?
Currently, there are two Soma demo centres globally. One in the HQ at Lanskroun, declared as the Soma Globe and the other at Atlanta USA, named as the FXC centre.

What’s the price?
Since Soma believes in offering custom made machines, it does not have a standard price. However, depending upon the number of colours and the print size plus the various accessories requested by the converter (or as needed), the Soma Optima range varies from Euro 1.5-million up to Euro 2.8-million.

Key customers?
Globally, Soma has Amcor, Clifton Packaging as clients. The group has installed more than 200 Optima presses.

Tech-specs of the Optima at Multiflex Polybags

Soma Optima: 820 Col EG/ WG
Number of printing decks: Eight colours
Maximum printing width: 820-mm
Maximum web width: 850-mm
Minimum web width: 300-mm
Minimum print repeat length: 300-mm
Maximum printing repeat length: 600-mm
Maximum mechanical speed: 300-m/minute
Contact person and details:
Suhas Kulkarni
Email id: Kulkarni@soma-eng.com

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

21.05%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

10.53%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

21.05%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

47.37%

Total Votes : 19

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